5200. Once to Every Man and Nation

1. Once to every man and nation,
comes the moment to decide,
In the strife of truth with falsehood,
for the good or evil side;
Some great cause, some great decision,
offering each the bloom or blight,
And the choice goes by forever,
’twixt that darkness and that light.

2. Then to side with truth is noble,
when we share her wretched crust,
Ere her cause bring fame and profit,
and ’tis prosperous to be just;
Then it is the brave man chooses
while the coward stands aside,
Till the multitude make virtue
of the faith they had denied.

3. By the light of burning martyrs,
Christ, Thy bleeding feet we track,
Toiling up new Calv’ries ever
with the cross that turns not back;
New occasions teach new duties,
time makes ancient good uncouth,
They must upward still and onward,
who would keep abreast of truth.

4. Though the cause of evil prosper,
yet the truth alone is strong;
Though her portion be the scaffold,
and upon the throne be wrong;
Yet that scaffold sways the future,
and behind the dim unknown,
Standeth God within the shadow,
keeping watch above His own.

Text Information
First Line: Once to every man and nation
Title: Once to Every Man and Nation
Author: James R. Lowell (1845)
Source: Boston Courier, December 11, 1845
Language: English
Notes: Lowell wrote these words as a poem protesting America's war with Mexico. The original poem was 90 lines long; the words below were arranged by Garrett Horder in his 'Hymns Supplemental to Existing Collections,' 1896. Alternate tunes: AUSTRIA (HAYDN), Franz J. Haydn, 1797; ILSELEY, Frank G. Ilsley, 1887
Copyright: Public Domain
Tune Information
Name: EBENEZER
Composer: Thomas John Williams (1890)
Incipit: 11232 12343 21545
Key: f minor
Source: Llaw lyfr Moliant, 1890
Copyright: Public Domain



Media
Adobe Acrobat image: Adobe Acrobat image
(Cyber Hymnal)
MIDI file: MIDI File
(Cyber Hymnal)
Noteworthy Composer score: Noteworthy Composer score
(Cyber Hymnal)
XML score: XML score
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